On Friday's New Day on CNN, during a discussion of the Capital Gazette shooting in Annapolis, CNN analyst Brian Karem complained about FNC host Sean Hannity "politicizing" the attack even as he himself also politicized it by suggesting links to President Donald Trump's "rhetoric."
He ended up going into a rant against the FNC host: "Sean Hannity doesn't have the ability to work in a community newspaper. He doesn't have the talent for it...He can kiss my big, fat ask me no more questions, I'll tell you no more lies. It angers me."
And on the previous night's show, he and CNN host Don Lemon suggested that President Trump's "rhetoric" had made it as dangerous to be a journalist in America as if it were a Third World country or a war zone.
On Friday's New Day, at 6:18 a.m. Eastern, Karem fretted:
And it really hurts me to no end to have to listen to somebody like Sean Hannity, you know, politicize this and others politicize it. Let's keep it real. The person that's responsible for this is the one that's in custody, and the overriding issue of whether or not you allow someone who has a mental health issue and sprays it all over his social media page to have a gun is another issue. And the fact that you have the President of the United States calling us all the "enemy of the people" and "fake news" and inflaming those who are mentally questionable is also an issue.
Host John Berman sympathetically followed up:
In the face of the spin, as you put it, in the face of those who within hours of it were trying to put some kind of political bent -- and you mentioned Sean Hannity. And, Brian, I don't want to pour salt in the wound -- you said you don't want to hear it -- but I'm going to play it so people know what you were talking about.
CNN then played audio from Hannity's radio show from yesterday in which he complained about California Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters recently calling on liberals to harass government officials who work for President Trump.
Railing against Hannity, Karem soon declared:
Sean Hannity doesn't have the ability to work in a community newspaper. He doesn't have the talent for it, and he doesn't have the temerity for it. And his display on television shows you exactly what he's made of. He couldn't make it in a community journalism newsroom. So he can kiss my big, fat ask me no more questions, I'll tell you no more lies. It angers me.
Berman responded: "I can understand why -- I can understand why, given how much time he devotes to questioning journalism and questioning facts that are reported every day. And for him to go on within the hours after that."
Karem soon more directly engaged in his own politicization by trying to impart culpability onto President Trump:
We have seen a spike in threats against us since Donald Trump's election. There isn't a day that goes by that the two newspapers that I run ... we are left dealing with a variety of threats. I've had personal threats against me. It's something that you live with over the years, but I've noticed a marked increase since Trump's election.
And, as Phil (Mudd) said, it's that emboldenment, you know, it's the validation that you get when someone speaks that kind of rhetoric -- "enemy of the people," "fake news" -- over and over and over again. And if you're of a questionable mental stability, that validates anything that you want to do. And so that's very scary for all of us, and we are in very scary times.
On last night's CNN Tonight, even before Hannity's comments were being discussed, Karem made veiled jabs at President Trump early on as he reacted to the shootings: "It's very tough in this day and age when you're berated as a journalist, and you go out and just do your job."
The group then went on to suggest that President Trump has made journalism a dangerous profession in the U.S.